Jo-ann Melissa Carmichael
Audit Office of Guyana
My Canadian placement:
Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of British Columbia.
My Canadian audit team:
I was involved in:
My most valuable learning:
My most valuable learning is the five key principles of good leadership and how to apply these in the working environment to better manage projects, improve team relationships and performance, and achieve objectives or goals. Also, engaging multiple stakeholders to select and scope audits and the importance of proper planning, for these factors are key in producing reports that are factual, timely, relevant, and can have a great impact.
How my Canadian colleagues and mentors helped me:
The staff of the OAG of British Columbia were very welcoming, kind, professional in their conduct, and willing to share their knowledge and experience. They also provided guidance which allowed me to better plan my special project audit.
What I enjoyed most:
The most enjoyable aspect was the training and guidance I received. This enhanced my knowledge and skills to better (a) select audit topics, (b) plan, execute, and report on performance audits that are relevant, timely, of high quality and impact, and relating to the needs of stakeholders, (c) develop and maintain relationships, and (d) guide, mentor and lead individuals.
My audit plan:Design and Implementation Process of the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network Programme
I developed my audit plan project with the guidance of my mentor at the OAG of British Columbia, Daria Babaie, Director, Performance Audit.
The connection to my country’s development priorities:
The Women's Innovation and Investment Network training program, offered through the Guyana Women's Leadership Institute of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, was established to provide equal access to education and training, particularly for women and girls living in vulnerable communities across Guyana, which is one of the disparities that exist nationally.
Its aim is to empower women in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 5, by equipping them with knowledge and skills in technical and vocational disciplines that are accredited internationally, assisting in business development, and providing awareness about the purpose and usage of the government’s social services.
This is to promote gender equality in the economic sphere for the capitalization of economic opportunities, and participation in leadership roles and responsibilities, making participants agents of change, growth, and development in their communities and the wider society for the development of Guyana.
How CAAF and my host office helped:
The training I received from CAAF, the mentoring from OAG British Columbia, and the challenge session I participated in have broadened my knowledge and equipped me with the skills needed to conduct successful performance audits. I was also able to focus my special project audit, by choosing a topic that is aligned with national priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals, and also addressing gender equality and equity.
The skills and knowledge I improved by developing this plan:
The development of my special project audit plan has improved my ability to scope (focusing on one aspect of an entity’s operation or a program) and plan (engaging relevant stakeholders and gathering sufficient and appropriate information to inform objectives, lines of enquiry, and criteria) a performance audit.
My future impact:
The new knowledge I’m most excited to share with my colleagues:
The use and function of the Subject Matter Approval Document will assist teams in better focusing and planning performance audits that are relevant, timely, and impactful. Also, the use and benefit of assessing the implementation of recommendations will help the office to monitor the auditee’s progress in a timely manner and better plan for the use of its resources (knowing first-hand whether to conduct a follow-up audit in the mandated timeframe).
The difference I hope to make:
The Supreme Audit Institution of a country can act as a driving force for governments to develop and implement national priorities to promote gender equality and equity for the sustainable development of its people and the country as a whole. Conducting performance audits focused on topics that are aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will assist the government in addressing or incorporating targets into the National Development Strategy, thereby honoring its commitment to international conventions and allowing citizens to hold the government accountable for its actions.
My professional goals:
Upon my return to my home country, I will complete my special project audit. I will also impart the knowledge and skills learned to my colleagues, through training, by creating and/or updating templates used in the conduct of performance audits, and by providing management with insights into documents used by other audit offices for better working relationships and successful audits.
The most Canadian thing I did was…
Hiking and eating a Nanaimo Bar.
My favourite cultural experience in Canada was…
Enjoying the rhythm at the Blues festival.
Something few Canadians know about my country is…
Guyana, which is located in South America, has the tallest single-drop waterfalls in the world, which stand at 741 feet or 226 meters tall.